Hallmark movie shooting locally needs extras

A lot of people ask film producer Andrew Gernhard this question: “How do I get into a movie?”

Here is their chance: They can sign up as background actors for the new Hallmark film being shot soon in southeastern Connecticut.

Gernhard’s New Britain-based Synthetic Cinema International is producing the release, a Christmas romantic drama that will air on the Hallmark Channel later this year.

Gernhard, who grew up in Norwich and lives in Gales Ferry, has shot many Synthetic projects in the region before, including “A Very Nutty Christmas,” last year’s Melissa Joan Hart comedy that aired on Lifetime, and “Wishin’ and Hopin’,” a 2014 adaptation of Wally Lamb’s novel of the same name.

Gernhard said he can’t reveal too much about the new movie yet, including who is in it or what the storyline is, although he did say it features military veterans. No public announcement has been made on what locations are being used, but he said, “This one we’re being pretty ambitious, shooting at a lot of locations. Typically, we’re only at two or three. This one is a lot more than that.”

The story is set in a small New England town, and, unlike “A Very Nutty Christmas,” which was filmed during the spring and made to look like December, this new one will be shot during this appropriately cold and wintry season.

As for signing up to become an extra: people should visit Synthetic’s Facebook page or website. Go to the bottom of the website home page, and click on the bottom right, where it says “Background Signup.” Then click on the green signup button at the bottom. People then answer some questions, including their height, age and any special abilities and talents they might have. They can register for specific dates. The website says that the time commitment for filming might vary, but people have to be prepared to stay for a full day if necessary. Auditions aren’t required. There isn’t pay, but participants will get screen credit and meals if their roles require them to be on set during meals.

Less than a dozen extras will be required for some days — but there are a couple of points when 100 to 200 extras will be needed, Gernhard said.

For those scenes, he said, “The director wants it to be as big as Connecticut can provide.”

k.dorsey@theday.com

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